Mayfly bring out the big brown trout.

May 25, 2015 at 11:27 am

Already into a busy week and with only one afternoon available to cash in on the Mayfly hatch, my plans were blown out of the water, with an invite to join two other couples for a genteel Afternoon Tea at a Thames side cafe this week. Pleas of  “But I’m going fishing”, cut no ice with my wife and we duly arrived in our best civvies for an afternoon of idle chatter with normal, non fishing people. The sight of Mayfly flitting across the table made me restless and when a Mayfly settled on the arm of one of the the wives, she screamed that she had been bitten by this beautiful wing creature. Being a non angler, she was not aware that unlike Wives, Mayfly have no mouth and cannot bite, being in this form for mating purposes only, all other parallels being ignored at this point. This allowed my wife to announce my earlier intention of fishing that very afternoon, to looks of  “Poor Thing” in my direction from the other females, as though I had a strange incurable disease.

trout 005

My duty completed, much later in the day, I found myself peering over the bridge of my syndicate river, expecting to see clouds of Mayfly being mopped up by leaping trout, but was disappointed to see plenty of Mayfly, while the trout were keeping their heads down. Sometimes, just the sight of a big artificial Mayfly, drifting slowly downstream will provoke a lazy trout into action, but not this evening and after several fly changes, big and small, covering a length of the river, I came to the conclusion, that the fish had become sated with Mayflies in the afternoon, while I was sipping tea and eating fruit cake.

trout 004

Giving up on the dry fly, I selected a Mayfly nymph, greasing the leader with floatant to within a foot of the fly and made my way up toward a silent pool, stopping short to cast from the shallows. As before, the surface was undisturbed by rising fish and had by now given up on any hope of a trout, but began going through the motions of searching out the pool anyway. A slight disturbance of the surface beneath the leader, caused me to lift the rod in a reflex action, the leader hadn’t moved, but response was immediate, as a good sized brown trout foamed the shallows in a tumbling fight, before diving deep into the pool ahead. I’d hoped for fish from the surface, but this would do nicely, as battle commenced, moving up to the deeper tail of the pool to allow a better control of the situation, eventually bringing the trout across the mouth of the net.

trout 003This 14 inch fish had been packing on weight, taking advantage of the Mayfly Bonanza to build muscle for leaner times. It had fought well, despite damage to it’s tail.

urbanfieldsportsman 002

Traps on our water, take their toll on the resident mink population, but this is evidence, that the furry carnivores are not just a pretty face.

I felt satisfied, that I’d managed to break my duck and catch a trout, as this would have been my first blank on the river at such a prolific time. Having held this trout’s head upstream for several minutes, before allowing it to swim free, I decided to have a few more casts deeper into the pool.

urbanfieldsportsman 004

In this light, the slightest ripple was visible and as the leader passed the right hand bush, the surface crinkled from a turning trout. I lifted the rod, to be met by the explosive power from a much better fish, that powered away upstream toward the bend, giving line, while applying as much pressure as I dared to slow it’s progress. It turned, staying deep, but searching out the banks on both sides, before erupting in the shallows at my feet, turning it with the rod back to the deeper water, again taking line and testing the bend in the rod. Each time the brownie came close to the net, it boiled on the surface. How many trout have I lost at this very point? Leading it back to the deeps, I bided my time, until it was ready to drift back down on the surface to my net.

urbanfieldsportsman 003

A spectacular brown trout in perfect condition, that fought to the last, which measured 16 inches to the fork of it’s tail. Earlier I had been on the verge of giving up on the river for the evening, due to the dearth of  rises to my offerings, but this one pool had made up for everything. There may have been others lurking in the depths, but I was satisfied with my lot and drove home with a smile on my face.